review by eliza czander photos by marc evan

I usually wouldn’t read a concert review of a band I’m going to be reviewing only a day later. Especially when it’s The Times. But, on the 2 train uptown last night, I was thumbing through the paper, and I just couldn’t help myself. The one word I’m going to borrow from the article pretty much embodies my take on the Vampire Weekend show last night: “tidy.”

Artist: Vampire Weekend
Song: Campus


In classic VW style, the band took the stage in loafers and buttoned up shirts, opening with the fan favorite ” I Stand Corrected.” Looking back at the sold out crowd at Terminal 5, I have to say, it was the most mellow bunch of concert-goers I’ve ever seen there. I don’t know what I was expecting, but the most movement I caught was some good-natured head bopping from a tipsy frat boy near the bar. Vampire Weekend didn’t exactly generate much excitement or commotion from the audience. They had fun, sure, and it’s always nice to see a frontman sweat. They just didn’t…rouse anyone. There was nothing electric about their performance. Nothing¬† poignant or moving. In their defense, they are a new band, and I’m sure are still struggling to find their place, both in the music world and on the stage.¬†The backing vocals from keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij were fantastic, and added depth and layering to the perhaps too simple sounds emanating from the stage. There was a string trio alongside, but they weren’t granted limelight until “Walcott,” their encore song, was played.

Now, don’t get me wrong, lead singer Ezra Koenig sounded great, hell they all sounded great. They sounded exactly like their album. And shit, I love me some “Oxford Comma.”

The one wrench they did throw in the mix was a jolly rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere.” Good times there, only I knew that they had played it the night before as well. And will probably play it again tonight.

From start to finish, the boys played a tight, yet prudent set. They moved swiftly through their catalog, announcing at the end, “We just played every song we know.” This might have been cute, had I not heard the same thing from Ezra’s smiling mouth only a couple of months ago at ACL. Good lord guys, can we get some new material please?? Going to a Vampire Weekend show is like eating a PB & J. Nice, perfectly enjoyable, but not particularly thrilling.

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